Every year at the beginning of January the president gives the State of the Union to Congress on his view on the state of our country along with his future plans. This year was the first of four State of the Union addresses that President Donald Trump will give during his term. Some of the main subjects Trump focused on during his speech were the topics he believes in, such as how to fix a fractured immigration system, the problem of people who are trying to undermine America’s way of life, and bipartisanship. Along with focusing on these points, he attempted to tug at his listeners emotions through hearing other people’s stories.
Trump tried to show he supports bipartisanship in our country. Bipartisanship is when both the Republicans and Democrats come together and work as one government, finding common ground and agreeing on terms and decisions. Although it may seem as if Trump is making progress in trying to unite his party with the Democrats, he needs to gain support from the opposing party when it comes down to getting his ideas signed into law with enough votes. Some of his ideas like the southern border wall would need votes from more than just his party, so gaining the support of the Democrats would be a big win for Trump. “The speech, one of Mr Trump’s most high-profile since taking office, has been themed around ‘building a safe, strong and proud America,’” The Telegraph News editor Ben Riley-Smith said.
Trump’s focus on the dangers in the country was displayed as it was a huge topic in his speech. Trump decided to speak on dangers from deadly gangs when he praised a police officer who has arrested 100 gang members. He also spoke of the dangers of North Korea that have shown threats throughout the past year, as he noted that North Korea would soon threaten the United States with a nuclear missile. One of the more surprising things in Trump’s address was the fact that he did not speak on the issues involving China and Russia during talks of his foreign policy. Trump’s administration made it clear that this is because they do not see China and Russia as much of a threat to the United States compared to other countries. “Though we will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists that we are engaged in today,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in a speech he gave at Johns Hopkins University on Jan. 19, “Great Power competition, not terrorism, is not the primary focus of US national security.”
One of the other main focuses of his speech was about his new ideas for immigration. Trump explained his immigration plan through four different pillars. The first of his four pillars is the path to citizenship for DREAMers. DREAMers are DACA recipients in the United States who have now gained Trump’s support as long as they have shown, over the past 10-12 years, that they have met certain educational and work requirements, and have shown good moral character. The second of his pillars is border security, which includes $25 billion of funding for both the northern and southern borders, which still includes a wall being built for the Mexican-American border. Along with the wall, the money is planned to go towards Customs officials and agents, officers, immigration judges, as well as better technology, which includes cameras, drones, and sensors. His next pillar focuses on ending the Diversity Visa Lottery, instead having a merit-based immigration system, which gives citizenship to the people who have been deserving and hard-working.
Trump referenced a New York terrorist attack in explaining why the lottery system does not work since the man who commited the attack got his green card through the lottery. The president’s last pillar is setting restrictions on family-based immigration. The current immigration laws for family allow for siblings, children over the age of 21, fiancees, and parents to come into the country with someone who has a green card, but Trump’s plan shaves that list of people down to just spouses and children who are minors. “It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” Trump said, “These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system.”
Throughout the address, Trump decided to talk about other people’s stories to relate to his points as he tried to gain support and compassion from his audience. Trump started this out with a reference to the recent hurricanes and how members of the “Cajun Navy” went in and helped out everyone during the aftermath of the storms. Trump talked more in depth about a woman named Ashlee Leppert, who helped more than 40 people get out of Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Trump thanked Leppert and continued referencing more people like David Dalberg, who helped save 60 lives during the California wildfires. This idea was carried out through his whole address, as he referenced over 10 people and their stories, attempting to gain support.